This paper investigates the use of skirts to improve the bearing capacity and to reduce the settlement of a circular footing resting on dune sand. The skirts are fixed to the perimeter of the footings. A series of tests were conducted on model footings in a large tank and the footings were instrumented to measure normal stresses and settlement. The test results indicate that the skirts increase the bearing capacity and reduce the settlement of the footing. The improvement in the bearing capacity is up to about 470% for a surface footing with skirt of a depth of 1.25B. The skirts also reduced the settlement of the footings to as small as 17% of the original settlement of a surface footing without skirts. A modified bearing equation was proposed for circular footings with skirts. The proposed equation agrees quite well with published experimental results.
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